How’s this for a headline? “Norway’s electric car miracle is a smug national fraud built on subsidizing rich people with Teslas.” Does that sound like something inspired by the far flung Koch Industries network of think tanks, policy organizations, and special interest groups? It’s not. It’s actually from RT, a propaganda arm of the Russian government.
According to Wikipedia, “RT (formerly Russia Today) is a Russian international television network funded by the Russian government. It operates pay television channels directed to audiences outside of Russia, as well as providing Internet content in English, Spanish, French, German, Arabic and Russian.
“RT is a brand of ‘TV-Novosti’, an ‘autonomous non-profit organization’, founded by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti on 6 April 2005. During the economic crisis in December 2008, the Russian government, headed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, included TV-Novosti on its list of core organizations of strategic importance of Russia. In September 2017, RT America was ordered to register as a foreign agent”with the United States Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.”
Now here’s the interesting part. The gross distortions included in the RT article are identical to the bleatings of dedicated Kochroaches employed by a wide array of mouthpiece organizations funded by Charles and David Koch.
“Time to Pull the Plug on Electric Vehicle Handouts for the Rich,” screams a headline for a story published by The Heritage Foundation last year. “Electric Car Subsidies Hurt Middle Class Americans to Benefit the Wealthy” blares the Center of the American Experiment. “We Should Eliminate Federal Electric Vehicle Subsidies for Rich People,” proclaims Reason.com, whose editorial tag line is “Free Minds And Free Markets.” Former presidential candidate Steve Forbes tells Fox News, “Rich people don’t need your money to buy electric cars — Let’s get real about EV tax credits.”
Earlier this year, The Driven wrote an article exposing the Koch Brothers/Steve Forbes campaign for the lie it is. A video produced by Fueling U.S. Forward — a Koch Brothers funded organization — popped up in 2017 in which outright lies about electric cars were presented as facts. That video has since been taken down and marked private on YouTube.
According to the RT hit piece, the citizens of Norway are clueless dupes of electric car advocates.
“The whole masquerade illustrates a deeper truth about Norway. The country unironically purports to be carbon neutral — it is lucky to be mountainous enough to have sufficient hydropower to serve its needs — yet is the world’s 12th biggest oil exporter and 2nd largest supplier of natural gas. If it really wanted to tackle CO2 emissions in the world, it would simply curtail its extractive industries, rather than pumping the taxes collected from these industries into indulgent white elephant schemes to purchase slick new cars for its ethically-pampered burghers.
“But Norway doesn’t really care about the world. It claims to be setting an example to other countries. But its electric car revolution is unaffordable to any but the wealthiest states. And its uniqueness appears to be a way for a privileged society with a superiority complex to smugly signal its exceptionalism, its self-proclaimed progressiveness. Let them drive Teslas.”
Ethically-pampered burghers? Yikes, that is a low blow indeed.
What all this weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth proves is that governments everywhere are today little more than puppets of the fossil fuel industry, spreading the same lies, half truths, and misconception whether they originate from American or Russian sources.
Throughout history, people have feared the idea of a world government. Yet the coordinated attacks on electric cars reveal the truth — we already have a world government and it is composed of and rigidly controlled by oil, gas, and coal interests. Any of you who doubt this are invited to read Greg Palast’s excellent book Vulture’s Picnic. If you don’t believe the world is totally controlled by fossil fuel interests now, you will believe it when you are done reading it.
The common indictments about electric cars by fossil fuel companies show they are able to bridge geographical, social, and political chasms to attack the biggest threat to their business model since the first crude oil came bubbling out of the ground in Pennsylvania over a century ago. And they will stop at nothing to protect their interests.